Lipedema, Obesity, Symmetrical limb enlargement, adiposa dolorosa
Lipodema is a disorder that is frequently misdiagnosed and almost exclusive to women, it is characterised by painful deposition of fat (adipose) tissue under the skin in the upper and lower extremities. There is often a familial tendency in Lipedema.
The deposition is often symmetric, progressive and spares the ankle and feet and generally spares the hands in the upper limb, the cuff sign is seen when the fat deposits begin abruptly over the ankle region.
The onset of this problem can begin with the menstrual cycle or around pregnancy or menopause. The exact cause of this problem is not known.
As the problem worsens the skin overlying these areas bruises very easily and can go from smooth to bumpy to looking like an orange peel with folds on it. Lipedema is also associated with overloading on the knee and other lower limb joints, discomfort due to rubbing of the inner thigh. The areas of fatty deposit are often painful. It can also have a severe impact on the patients mental wellbeing due to disproportionately large disfiguring enlargement of hips and limbs compared to the rest of the torso.
While commonly confused with obesity, it is very difficult or nearly impossible to lose weight from Lipedema affected limbs by dieting. When associated with Obesity, Lymphedema can develop in the later stages of Lipedema.
Lipedema can often be confused with conditions like Lymphedema, Benign Lipohypertrophy, Dercum’s disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different stages of Lipodema / Lipedema?
Another way of classifying the disease is by the distribution of the fat deposition Saddle bags, buttocks to knees, buttocks to ankles, arms or just the lower leg.
What is the treatment of Lipodema / Lipedema?
In the Conservative treatments Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) using a compression garment or compression wrapping with or without Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy (CPD). Dry brushing, Deep Breathing Exercises, Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) can also be used to improve Lymphatic Flow. Keeping the weight steady by regular exercise (low impact) and building muscles will help. Getting emotional support by joining patient groups also is important.
Other conservative measures include a healthy diet that reduces inflammation, In the Surgical treatments, Super-wet Tumescent Liposuction with our without PAL (Power Assisted Liposuction) or VASER (Ultrasound assisted Liposuction) has revolutionised the treatment of Lipoedema / Lipedema and can give permanent long lasting results in reducing the fatty deposits, improving the contours and patient body image.
Please visit Reforme Medical Cardiff, to consult with Dr Prashant Murugkar to find out more.